The Rookie Road Tripper Visits The Highest Car Museum In The World

High up in the mountains hides a glass house, and inside that glass house there is a car museum. It is also the highest car museum ... in the world. Where might this be? Which country and mountain holds the title of inhabiting the highest car museum? Could it be Andorra? It is a city only in mountains, so that might make sense. Or is it in France? Which has one of the highest mountains in Europe?

No, instead one can find it on the Großglockner in Austria. Even I had been unaware that the car museum has that title to its name, so on my last visit, I decided that this plucky little car museum at the height of 2363 meters should be featured as part of the "The Rookie Road Tripper Visits [Car Museum]" series.

Automobilmuseum Großglockner

 Getting to the Car Museum On The Großglockner 

Since the museum is situated on the Kaiser Franz Josefs Höhe, it is only accessible via the Großglockner Hochalpenstraße. The high alpine road is open from late May until October dependent on the weather and since it is a toll road access costs 37€ by car with an additional 2€ per person inside the car - excluding the driver. Motorbike riders pay only 27€. Depending if you come from the North (Zell am See) or the South (Heiligenblut), you simply follow the signs that lead you to the Franz Josefs Höhe. It is quite hard to get lot up there, since there are only two intersections.

Once you reached the right spot, you are going to wonder where to park at this dizzying height. The Großglockner Hochalpenstraße AG has your back. There are parking lots available and closest to the museum is even a multistory - simple drive on until you hit the very end of the road. All of those options are free of charge.

Naturally, this raises suspicion that the multistory might be full. However, in three years (and counting) I have never not found a suitable parking spot. Furthermore, if that part really is overfilled with visitors, the company closes it and you becomes part of a shunting further down.

While asking yourself if you are able to reach the Franz Josefs Höhe by public transport may sound stupid, it is possible!

The times are more flexible if you are stationed in the South at Heiligenblut. There is a regular and state run bus that terminates right in front of the museum. As it is a classic Postbus, the price is going to be small. The first bus leaves at 09:25 AM in Heiligenblut and the last drives down at 04:30 PM from the Franz Josefs Höhe. (as of Oct. 2019) So make sure you don't miss this.

If you are stationed North in Zell am See, Bruck a.d. Glstr. or Fusch, your options are limited to the Glocknerbus. While it is a historic bus, it also only drives twice a day and that at a cost of roughly 34€. However, unlike the Postbus this comes as a whole travel package and experience with a guide.

What The Museum Has to Offer: 

Since you already pay a toll for the road itself, the car museum is delightfully free of charge. Thus, you can simply walk into it and start your round. In general, it does not matter if you start at the top and make your way down since each floor covers one topic.

The museum is split into five floors. Two are car themed, one is motorbike themed, another is art themed, and the last one is a changing exhibition that presents an aspect of the Großglockner - such as what tiny beings live in the ice, or feminism and mountaineering.

The top floor is filled with cars, these range from a newer KTM X-Bow, to a lovely little old Golf, and a collection of notable cars that have had the honour of visiting the Hochalpenstraße for a bigger share of their life.

On the side, you are going to find a wall that shows the evolution of one brand or type of car, as well as automotive quotes in German as well as in English.

The second floor that is littered with cars, is on the second floor - mind the pun. This room is held in lighter colours and showcasts only two cars. However, on the side, you are going to find an adorable display of miniature model cars that go through the ages: starting with old classics and ending near race bred cars.

In between, you are going to find the section for motorbikes as well as the art expo. The prior two years the art was about Glockner photography. Meanwhile, the motorbikes varied from older Vespers to bicycles that have been equipped with a small engine.

Then there is the Sonderausstellung; it always changes topic per year. Last year it had been women in mountaineering through the centuries. 

After your tour through the museum, you can enjoy a nice cup of coffee at the café, browse through the shop around the corner, or start your hike by walking through the caves and continuing onto the mountain side.

Compared to other car museums, it is lacking in regards of extensive material. It is not going to have as rich a collection as the Porsche Museum in Stuttgart or compare to the sheer size of the BMW Museum. However, it has a cute little exhibition that knows why has been put there. 

In the end, it gives you exactly the feeling that it should: it cares about the place that it represents and shares its little story and heart.


  1. I love that quote from George Carlin! And this museum looks absolutely wonderful. I often think that smaller less well-known museums have much more to offer by way of heart and soul than the larger collections. One for my bucket list - gorgeous photos, thank you for sharing :) Lisa x

    1. Thank you for commenting! Yes, lesser known museums often have their own charms. :)


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